Despite COVID-19 limitations D2C project partners spent active summer implementing project activities. A few of them realized in Croatia as reported by the Public institution for the management of protected parts of nature and the ecological network of Virovitica-Podravina County:
Butterfly monitoring took place from May to August. The indicator species of butterfly, Lycaena dispar, was recorded in the buffer zone, mostly males. In the same habitat along with Lycaena dispar, were recorded and photographed mayflies (Ephemeroptera) and dragonflies (Odonata), which are excellent indicators of water purity (bioindicators).
In addition to the listed indicator species, invasive species along the Drava River (core area) and in the buffer zone were also recorded. Invasive species have a significant negative impact on biodiversity and thus on ecosystem services. Recorded invasive species are: desert false indigo (Amorpha fruticose), black locust (Robinia pseudoaccacia), tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle), boxelder maple (Acer negundo), wild cucumber (Echinocystis lobata), ornamental jewelweed (Impatiens glandulifera), common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), American pokeweed (Phytolacca americana), Chinese pond mussel (Sinanodonta woodiana) and etc.
On August 19, 2020, we attended the second webinar through the Zoom application of the Young European Green Belt network 2020. At the webinar, we had the opportunity to briefly present our activities with young people that we carry out in the area of the Green Belt, Virovitica-Podravina County through the Visitor centre The Drava story. By actively participating in this project (Young European Green Belt network 2020), we have the opportunity to present the area of the European Green Belt of Virovitica-Podravina County and the activities we carry out through the DaRe to Connect project. Along with the biodiversity of the Green Belt, we will present the activities of people throughout history of the Green Belt area in Virovitica-Podravina County, which coincides with our research on ecosystem services. In addition to participating in webinars, we will continue the presentation of the Green Belt area in Virovitica-Podravina County through texts, photos and short videos.
Public procurement for Geographic Information System Services was conducted. The GIS training will start in November.
Due to epidemiological measures and the impossibility of personal contact with local stakeholders, an electronic survey on the ecosystem services topic is being prepared. The aim of the survey is to include as many important stakeholders as possible and collect the necessary data which will be incorporated in the final Ecosystem Services document.